Spending Bill Helps KY Tobacco Growers

Washington, D.C. – The Appropriations Bill passed by the U.S. Congress contains a pair of provisions in support of Kentucky tobacco farmers. The bill, approved by both the House and Senate last night, contains a total of 53 million dollars designated for the nation's tobacco growers.

The bill provides authority to wave what's known as the ten-percent carry-forward rule for the 2002 crop. The change would allow tobacco farmers to carry forward all quota losses due to last year's drought. Language in the bill would also give the Secretary of Agriculture the right to waive the tobacco designation rules for the rest of this sales year. Under current law, farmers must designate where they will sell their tobacco, if in a warehouse, under contract, or by other means. If farmers decide to sell their crop elsewhere, they must wait for government approval. Under the change, farmers could move their tobacco from one sales point to the next without delay.